Last Updated: Sun Oct 17, 2010 00:25 am (KSA) 21:25 pm (GMT)

Morocco festival rejects banning Elton John

The Islamic party argued the singer's appearance would pose "a risk of encouraging homosexuality in Morocco"
The Islamic party argued the singer's appearance would pose "a risk of encouraging homosexuality in Morocco"

Morocco this month despite calls from the country's main Islamic party for the gay star to be banned, organizers said Monday.

Artistic director Aziz Daki told AFP that cancelling the concert on the grounds of John's homosexuality would "undermine the respect of privacy" and "breach certain values that the international Mawazine festival is based on."

Morocco's main opposition Islamist Justice and Development Party had called Friday for the singer to be banned from the festival in Rabat, arguing his appearance would pose "a risk of encouraging homosexuality in Morocco."

"At the Mawazine festival we invite artists on the basis of the quality of their performance on stage and according to their artistic career", Daki said, adding that John is "one of the world's top pop singers and composers."

He has "many fans in Morocco", the artistic director added, and "his private life is none of our business."

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